Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Tribeca Film Festival opens with 'Saturday Night Live' documentary

16 April 2015, 19:38

New York - The Tribeca Film Festival kicked off with a special screening of "Live From New York," a warts-and-all documentary that looks at the storied 40-year history of the late night comedy show "Saturday Night Live."

Vietnamese-American filmmaker Bao Nguyen's movie, which opened the festival on Wednesday night, traces the show's evolution into a pop-cultural touchstone from its 1975 debut when, as frequent host actor Alec Baldwin notes, "No one thought it would last."

Also read: AMAA holds in June

The film blends archival footage of some of its best-known sketches and characters with cast interviews going back to original members Chevy Chase and Jane Curtin, and reflections from many of its high-profile satirical targets.

The brainchild of producer Lorne Michaels, "Saturday Night Live" launched the careers of comedy stars ranging from Bill Murray and John Belushi to Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Martin Short.

The movie, Nguyen's directorial debut, also mines subjects such as drugs, race and sexuality in a manner that were largely taboo on network television.

"It was a variety show on acid," said Candice Bergen, the NBC show's first-ever female host.

"The impact was tremendous," Steve Martin said in the film, "Overnight it was the hottest show in the country."

Iconic figures including TV journalist Tom Brokaw, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Fox News' Bill O'Reilly voice a recurring theme that over the decades "Saturday Night Live" both reflected and influenced American culture.

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who went on to greater fame in "Seinfeld," said "Saturday Night Live" was "definitely a sexist environment," but original cast member Laraine Newman contended that Michaels was a "champion of women's humor."

Garrett Morris, the show's first black cast member, said the show didn't quite know how to use him. By 1981, however, Eddie Murphy had become one of "SNL"'s biggest breakout stars.

Another section examines the dark days of the early 1980s, when the entire cast left along with Michaels and the show veered toward cancellation.

But mostly, the film tells the story of how an edgy little sketch show featuring unknown comedians evolved into a pop culture powerhouse that has drawn presidents George Bush and Barack Obama to the studio. It also got former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, who announced her presidential candidacy this week, to appear alongside their satiric doppelgangers.

The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, which runs to April 26, will showcase about 100 feature films, including 67 world premieres.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...